Read: Genesis 3:1-8
Okay, the moment you’ve all been waiting for….SIN! That deadly curse that has plagued humanity ever since those first bites of forbidden fruit. So, there we have it, Adam and Eve, naked and tempted by a juicy apple. This needs an “R” rating right? Nope. The temptation wasn’t about the seductress Eve nibbling the apple and blinking toward Adam to follow her. The temptation doesn’t involve sexuality at all. The temptation doesn’t even involve an apple! The temptation involves the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, because: 1) The consumer will gain the knowledge of good and evil; AND 2) “become like God” (Genesis 3:5). That’s the original sin – that’s the great temptation. We want to be “like God”, not in righteousness, but in power and control.
That describes unchecked human nature well. We like to be in control. We like to have power and authority. Ambition can lead to many other forms of sin. You probably remember the verse, “Money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1Tim. 6:10); yep, and the reason is that money buys influence, power, and control. Power and control are the stuff of God. That is the temptation that human nature finds irresistible. Some say it was the same temptation that compelled Satan to rebel against God.
Much more about “sin” in future posts, I want to focus on leadership. Leadership is essential; it’s a basic need in culture. Leadership, properly defined, is about the exercise of legitimate authority. The best forms of leadership we find in humanity are those entrusted by the people (i.e. democracy) and with accountability built into the role. How often have we seen credible leaders fall to scandal, often because there were not “checks and balances” and accountability in the system? The King David/Bathsheba incident comes to mind. I leave you to ponder a famous quote: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” – Lord Acton.
The original sin is about us wanting to be “like God” – that is, to have power and control. It is a timeless theme and an unending refrain. Genesis tells us a lot about God, but it also tells us a lot about human nature, and why things are the way they are in life.
Pastor Rob Nystrom